“I hate the car dealer kind of stuff, so I walked in there with $10,000 in cash.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Brad
- Car in Question: 2005 Honda Civic
- Spotted at: Cottage View Drive-In, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
- Odometer: 48,620
- Car’s Nickname: The Honda
Q: How did you get end up with this car?
A: Before I bought this one, I was a classic $800 car guy. I loved to drive and take road trips, the stereotypical freedom. But the last few times I took long road trips in these junky cars, it turned into long odysseys with the car breaking down, and I ended up putting so much money into them. I had a good job at the time, so I went to the Honda dealership; I hate the car dealer kind of stuff, so I walked in there with $10,000 in cash and said to the guy, “I hope to walk out of here in less than 45 minutes with a new car. I’m going to give you this cash and finance the rest.”
Q: So what did he say? Was he biting?
A: He said, “Do you want to look at some models?” I said, “No I just want a good car.” In the book “Wise Blood” by Flanner O’Connor, Hazel Motes says, “Nobody with a good car needs to be justified.” That was my motto going in there. I just want a good car that runs. And I wanted it to play CDS. He said, “Well, here’s a such and such,“ and I just kept repeating, “I just want a good car that plays music.” He shows me this car and I said, “I’ll take that one.” He asked, “Do you want to drive it?” I said, “No I’ve driven cars before.” I had these thousand dollar bands of cash like a drug dealer and I plunked them down.
Q: And that’s where it all began. Where have you and your dog Wendell gone in this car?
A: We went to Vermont three times, spent three months in Montana, down to the Florida Panhandle twice to spend the winters. We’ve been to about 38 states. I never ever drive on interstate highways. I always try to take state and county roads and zigzag all over.
Q: When was the last time you were out on the road?
A: This is the longest stretch of my life that I have ever gone without a road trip. It’s been about a year. For two years we did nothing but travel. Wendell lives to get in the car. He gets really excited. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, so Wendell has been sorely deprived of a road trip. He was happy today when we got in the car. He realized we weren’t just going to the Pump ‘N’ Munch.
Q: It sounds like you two have a long history with Highway 61.
A: I have taken it all the way down to Louisiana several times.
Q: Do you have a nickname for your car?
A: I just call it “The Honda.”
Q: What do you have in the trunk?
A: Boxes of wiffle balls and an original wood wiffle ball bat, a tent and sleeping bag, a hairbrush my mom gave me for Christmas, my own personal DVD copy of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” dog bowls, a jug of water, and three or four atlases.
Q: What are some of the CDs that you have in the car?
Q: Finally, if your car were a person, what kind would it be?
A: It’s the opposite of me, the same quality I value in the people closest to me: really steady and reliable, and not flashy. I wanted a car that could get me there without any drama. There is nothing in my life that is practical, at all, except for this car.
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Photos and interview by Michelle Leon